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Question #: 549

Question: HOW COMPLEX IS YOUR KIT TO ASSEMBLE, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY - HARD IT SETUP CONTROL THE LASER WITH MACH3?

Current Solution

The blackTooth Laser cutter and Engraver can be built in a weekend. Take a look at the build instructions and try to determine if you feel you have sufficient capability to put together the laser system.

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Other Possible Solutions to this Question

  • how much would your vertical laser kit cost without the wood components and door plastic shipped to Canada

    Good question. I will need to add up the cost. However, the complete kit with the wood components will cost in the range of $300 to $500 using freight.

    Additional Information:
    I will add a price option on the Vertical Laser XL page that shows the assembly price without the wood structural parts. Are you wanting the rails included in the price?

    Additional Information:
    Hi, I was expecting an email answer, I did not know that you answered. Also I am in Fiji, not Canada. There is a flaw with your question form, It would not accept Fiji because we have no postal codes, so I put in my old Canadian code so that it would accept my question.

    Yes we would need the rails and any mechanical and electrical components. Our plan is to build it against a wall in a shipping container.

    If you do not have a suitable freight forwarder I can ask at this end because people frequently receive shipping containers.

    Thank you,

    George

    Click the link to respond:
    how much would your vertical laser kit cost without the wood components and door plastic shipped to Canada

  • How do you zero the z axis using a plate with the planet-cnc software and your USB controller?

    The instructions on how to use a plate for z-axis homing (moveable sensor) can be found here:

    http://www.planet-cnc.com/faq/moveable_sensor/

    Click the link to respond:
    How do you zero the z axis using a plate with the planet-cnc software and your USB controller?

  • Can you shortcut the usb controller that comes with the blacktooth laser to hardware reset it?

    The USB controller does not have a reset button installed on it.

    You have some alternate options however:
    - You can remove the USB connector and re-insert it.
    - Set the USB to use external 5v by removing the jumper near the USB connector, use a 5v wall adapter and install a switch along the 5v DC power line to turn it off then on. You can use a momentary push button switch to do this.

    Click the link to respond:
    Can you shortcut the usb controller that comes with the blacktooth laser to hardware reset it?

  • IS THE MACH3 SOFTWARE COMPATIBLE WITH 3 AXIS MOTION CONTROL COMBO KITS? PLANET CNC MENTIONED AS BEING COMPATIBLE.

    Mach 3 is compatible with our electronic combo's that include the Parallel Breakout Board.
    Planet-CNC is compatible with our electronic combo's that included our USB Breakout Board.

    The parallel breakout board is compatible to a wide variety of software control packages. The USB interface board that we sell can only be used with the Planet-cnc control software.

    If you are concerned with your computer (desktop) not having a parallel port, one can be purchased and inserted into a PCI slot on the motherboard. Some motherboard also come with a parallel port header (connector) on the motherboard and a simple cable can be connected to this connector to get that functionality on the computer. The former solution of getting a parallel port adapter card to plug into the motherboard is probable the easiest and least expensive option.

    Additional Information:

    Click the link to respond:
    IS THE MACH3 SOFTWARE COMPATIBLE WITH 3 AXIS MOTION CONTROL COMBO KITS? PLANET CNC MENTIONED AS BEING COMPATIBLE.

  • Is there any other software that will work with your controller Mach3?

    The mach3 control software will work with all major CAM software (CAMBAM, Aspire and Vectric, BobCAD/CAM, ArtCAM, Dolphin CAM, CAM software that integrate with SolidWorks and AutoDesk Inventor, and many more).

    Click the link to respond:
    Is there any other software that will work with your controller Mach3?

  • I would like to build a low cost laser engraver/ cutter, can your 40w laser power supply be controlled with an arduino or is it only controlled by the controller sold here?

    You can control our 40W laser power supply (which controls the laser tube) with an Arduino, if that is your intention. The trigger for turning the laser on and off uses a 5V level. To control intensity, you can use the Arduino PWM output. If you want the Arduino to move the machine as well (providing pulse trains to each of the stepper motor drivers) then you will need to make sure you consider the processing speed of the Arduino so you will be able to run the stepper motors at the speed you need for the laser engraving/cutting.

    Our laser controller do all of these functions. Here is a link to our laser control system:
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/Laser-Component-Laser-Control-System



    Additional Information:
    Thank you! I am building a 3 axis cnc/ engraver and I think this would be a good option as well as the router head and the 3d printing head. How heavy is the tube? I may mount it directly onto one of the axis of the machine to eliminate the need to line up all three axis, similar to what you have with your xl engraver.

    Additional Information:
    The tube isn't that heavy, but when filled with water, it can get up to a few pounds. The key is to use the axis moving the nozzle for engraving as this requires fast back and forth motion. The cutting is generally dependent on the axes moving from vector to vector at a relatively slow motion, so this is not a problem.

    Click the link to respond:
    I would like to build a low cost laser engraver/ cutter, can your 40w laser power supply be controlled with an arduino or is it only controlled by the controller sold here?

  • Is the Mach3 software compatible with 3 axis motion control combo kits? The planet cnc software is mentioned as being compatible.

    Mach 3 is compatible with our electronic combo's that include the Parallel Breakout Board.
    Planet-CNC is compatible with our electronic combo's that included our USB Breakout Board.

    The parallel breakout board is compatible to a wide variety of software control packages. The USB interface board that we sell can only be used with the Planet-cnc control software.

    If you are concerned with your computer (desktop) not having a parallel port, one can be purchased and inserted into a PCI slot on the motherboard. Some motherboard also come with a parallel port header (connector) on the motherboard and a simple cable can be connected to this connector to get that functionality on the computer. The former solution of getting a parallel port adapter card to plug into the motherboard is probable the easiest and least expensive option.

    Additional Information:

    Click the link to respond:
    Is the Mach3 software compatible with 3 axis motion control combo kits? The planet cnc software is mentioned as being compatible.

  • I am looking at purchasing a blacktooth laser system but after reading some of the post I am unsure if laser power is under software control. Is laser power ( on/off) directly controlled with the off the shelf hardware and software

    The on/off laser control for the blackTooth laser system is controlled by software. Software controls a digital trigger on the laser power supply that turns the laser on and off.

    Our blackTooth works more like a CNC machine where g-code is used as the instructions to cut and engrave. Generally, CNC machines have a z-axis that moves up and down. When the z-axis is moving down, the end mill (cutting tool) is penetrating the surface of the material to be cut. We use this same technique to control the laser on and off. If the z-axis is in the down state, the laser is on. If the z-axis is in the up state, the laser turns off. All of this is automatically generated in the g-code when the machining operations are created in CAM software. This eliminates the need for an expensive laser controller board; however, a traditional laser controller board can be used with our system.

    Click the link to respond:
    I am looking at purchasing a blacktooth laser system but after reading some of the post I am unsure if laser power is under software control. Is laser power ( on/off) directly controlled with the off the shelf hardware and software

  • I have your USB controller sitting here and want to control it with something other than PlanetCNC control software?

    The USB controller will only work with the Planet-CNC software. This software is well made and will provide great functionality. The planet-cnc software delivers instructions to the microcontroller on the board and the microcontroller will send out the pulse trains needed to move the machine correctly.

    There are two main alternatives if you want to use the mach3 software:
    First, get a parallel port card and add it to your computer and get a parallel breakout board. If you have a laptop/notebook computer, this will not be possible.
    Second, if you have a laptop, or really want to use the USB as the main interface for controlling the machine, you will need to get the smoothstepper board which works with mach3. The price combination is much higher than the USB controller with planet-cnc, but will work with Mach3.

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    The planet cnc controller can be prone to electrical interference and has been known to cause such problems. In the first instance try to use a quality double sheilded USB cable, hopefully this will fix your problem. Alternatively you may need to sheild your limit switch, estop and or motor cabling. My pick is that a quality USB cable will fix it though, worked for me.

    Click the link to respond:
    I have your USB controller sitting here and want to control it with something other than PlanetCNC control software?

  • Is there a better manual for the laser engraving controle having problems with the set up of the stepping motors etc

    This "question 12186" could be a good place to house questions on the laser controller. We are in the process of creating thorough video instructions, but please add specific questions by clicking the "submit additional information" and we will answer questions regarding the laser controller with detail.

    Click the link to respond:
    Is there a better manual for the laser engraving controle having problems with the set up of the stepping motors etc

  • Is there a kit or actual product that can be wired into the Mach3 controller to give me virtual zero

    The mach3 control software will work with all major CAM software (CAMBAM, Aspire and Vectric, BobCAD/CAM, ArtCAM, Dolphin CAM, CAM software that integrate with SolidWorks and AutoDesk Inventor, and many more).

    Click the link to respond:
    Is there a kit or actual product that can be wired into the Mach3 controller to give me virtual zero

  • BUT DIDN'T SEE ANYTHING ABOUT COOLING THE LASER OFF - IS YOUR SETUP LIKE MOST OTHERS NEED BUCKET OF DISTILLED WATER TO PUMP THROUGH MACHINE?

    Cooling is not as tricky as you might think. There is 3 ways to approach this, only 2 really matter for a low scale 40w setup. First one is the cheapest and easiest. The higher the temp of water the worse your performance will be, from what I understand anything in the 30C range is about the most tolerable it gets. Lower is better. But not frozen...from what I've been told a very experienced cutter, he found 8C was the highest power he achieved.

    1. Use a 5 Gallon resovoir system which gives you a fairly large space of water to heat up before you need to tend to it. Add about a cup of anti-freeze to the mix of DISTILLED water. You don't want ANY minerals in the water that might build up in your system. The anti-freeze works to keep algae and other ickies from growing in your water.

    2. Use a smaller resovoir system (or even closed loop) and install 1 or more radiators found in CPU cooling systems with 120mm fans attached. This will continously cool your water system to ambient room temperatures, but with a tiny resovoir it will be difficult to add things like ice-packs to drop the temps if the ambient is quite hot.

    3. Using an industrial coolant system. Overkill and unless your cutting A LOT, this is a very expensive option to take. You can also explore the idea of Peltier cooling but it is extremely expensive electricity/BTU wise compared to an industrial cooler.

    Click the link to respond:
    BUT DIDN'T SEE ANYTHING ABOUT COOLING THE LASER OFF - IS YOUR SETUP LIKE MOST OTHERS NEED BUCKET OF DISTILLED WATER TO PUMP THROUGH MACHINE?

  • I HAVE YOUR MACH3 USB BOB, DO YOU GUYS SELL A TORCH CONTROL RELAY CAN WIRE UP TO TURN MY PLASMA ON AND OFF HOW WOULD WIFE THAT TOO THIS BOB?
  • I have your breakout board with relay parallel port , how can I wire up a regular router to that board so I can control the router

    Here is how to connect your router to the parallel breakout board through the on-board relay. You will need a spare extension cord. You will need to remove a portion of the outer jacket of the extension cord to expose the white, black and green wires (white = neutral, black = live and green = ground), understanding that the neutral and live create the completed circuit.

    See this image of a similar connection. The terminal has the same connections.
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/images/vacuum-pressure-controller-relay-terminals-700.JPG

    Image of the relay terminal:
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/images/breakoutboardrelayNONC.PNG

    The live/black wire would be cut and one end of the cut would be secured into the P terminal and the other cut end would be secured into the S terminal. The live and ground wire would be uncut and travel from the plug to the router.


    Additional Information:
    You can also connect other high powered devices to the breakout board using any of the output terminals. You will need to supply extra relays like the one shown here:
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-breakout-Relays-relay-board-250V-12A-5V

    Or you can find SSRs (Solid State Relays) that will accept 5v to drive the relay coil. Make sure the SSR will protect the 5V line from Back EMF as there is a coil in the relay. The one we sell contains a fly-back diode to protect the 5v terminal.

    Click the link to respond:
    I have your breakout board with relay parallel port , how can I wire up a regular router to that board so I can control the router

  • 4 axis kit can I use 2 motors for the gantry with one controller card? or I buy the 3 axis kit instead?

    Yes, you can use the 4 axis kit and use two of the motors on the gantry. You will need to wire the gantry axis motors to the same step and direction signals on the controller interface. For example, if the gantry axis is the X axis, then on the controller step and direction terminals (CP and CW) is wired to both of the stepper motor drivers for the X axis.

    Click the link to respond:
    4 axis kit can I use 2 motors for the gantry with one controller card? or I buy the 3 axis kit instead?

  • I am asking what to set my steps per using your kit stepper motors and a 1/2"x13 lead screw with Mach3

    Here is the formula for steps/inch (steps per inch)

    Steps = how many steps for a full ration of the motor = standard motor steps x number of microsteps for each step
    Standard motor steps for our stepping motors is 200 steps per revolution.
    Microsteps are selected on the driver and are shown as full, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32 etc... Use the denominator for the number of microsteps per step.

    Inches = how far the travel is for one full rotation of the motor. For the 1/2" - 13 TPI (threads per inch), the travel length will be 1"/13 or .076923". So, for one revolution of the motor, the travel distance will be .076923 inches.

    So, the steps = 200 * microsteps, let's make this 1/4 just for the formula.
    The inches will be .076923. Plug those into the formula:
    Steps / inch = (200 * 4) / .076923 This can also be written as:
    200 * 4 / (1 / 13) = 10,400

    Click the link to respond:
    I am asking what to set my steps per using your kit stepper motors and a 1/2"x13 lead screw with Mach3

  • I purchased the blackTooth Laser Engraver with integrated Laser Control Unit and have been following your instructions. I noticed that the laser tube power supply is different that what is shown in your instructions. Do you have any better wiring guides that I can follow for the version that I received?

    There is some variation in the outward appearance of laser power supplies due to sourcing through different vendors. However, the basic wiring requirements are the same in each case. For the unit with integrated laser controller, follow the diagram found here: https://buildyourcnc.com/blackToothLaserCutterAndEngraver.aspx#prettyPhoto/0/. The terminals on the signal side will have a 6 connection terminal block -- these are the ones labeled 5V, IN, G, P (or WP), L (or TTL-L), and H (or TTL-H). The High Power side will have 3 inputs for AC power, one high voltage lead, and one return line. Connect these as shown in the diagram as well: the return line goes on the "front" (beam exit end) terminal of the laser tube, the high voltage lead goes to the "back" terminal of the tube, the FG terminal (or G) receives the earth ground wire of the AC power cable, and the two AC terminals receive the line and neutral wires of the AC power cable (it doesn't matter in this case which wire goes to which terminal).

    Click the link to respond:
    I purchased the blackTooth Laser Engraver with integrated Laser Control Unit and have been following your instructions. I noticed that the laser tube power supply is different that what is shown in your instructions. Do you have any better wiring guides that I can follow for the version that I received?

  • I have your mach3 USB BoB, do you guys sell a torch control relay I can wire up to turn my plasma torch on and off and how I would wife that too this BoB?
  • Im having software setup problems with my backtooth (mach3) and i seem not to find a solution in the forum. what can i do?

    You can call us, send an email, or pose the specific question on this customer service live that pertains to the issue that you are having.

    Click the link to respond:
    Im having software setup problems with my backtooth (mach3) and i seem not to find a solution in the forum. what can i do?